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    WILKES-BARRE, PA, 10/5/2020 —The YMCA’s Gary A. Michak Memorial Ride is held annually to raise funds to support deserving children from our single-parent community in Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA Child Care programs. This year the event took place on August 29th , both virtually and physically while social distancing.

    The bicycle ride traditionally takes place around Harvey’s Lake, held in memory of Gary A. Michak who dedicated his life to giving back to others. He taught martial arts to children and adults, ran a successful law practice, and during the last year of his life campaigned for a Magisterial District Judge position in the hopes of creating a safer, stronger Back Mountain community. Along with the YMCA, the members of the Gary’s Corner Committee promote this annual event as a way to continue Gary’s legacy and commitment to our community.

    Jim Thomas, Executive Director, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, stated, “As with many events this year, we were unsure if this ride could take place considering the circumstances, but with safety measures in place we were able to come together in Gary’s memory and gather support for the children at the Y.”

    This year the event raised over $3,000 in scholarship funding. All proceeds from the ride support the Gary A. Michak Memorial Scholarship for YMCA Child Care, ultimately enabling parents to continue to work knowing their children have a safe place to learn and grow.

    The Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA Child Care Center is a Keystone Stars certified facility, and even in the midst of the pandemic continues to provide an educational experience for children who may not otherwise have this opportunity.

    “We are so incredibly grateful to the Gary’s Corner Committee for continuing to offer support throughout these challenging times,” said Thomas, “the children of the YMCA have a safe place to learn and grow because people like you are willing to step out and make an impact.”

    If you would like to help support a child in need of YMCA services, you can donate to the 2020 Gary A. Michak Memorial Fund online at https://wbymca.org/give/#/donate/

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    Pictured from left- Randall Kemmerer, Gary’s Corner Committee; Clara Kemmerer; James Thomas, Executive Director, W-B YMCA; and Courtney Burgess-Michak, MS, NCC, LPC, Gary’s Corner Committee.


    About the Y

    Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationship and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at www.wbymca.org.

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Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce  2 Public Square , Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701  570. 823.2101